Monday, May 26, 2014

memorial day: when I don't have words

Memorial Day.

I've thought about what to write for today for quite a while now. I wanted to come up with the perfect words--something profound, something I haven't said before. I wanted to explain just what today means to me as a "Gold Star sister" on a weekend full of barbeques, parties, and swimming.

The things is, I don't have any words.

This is the 10th Memorial Day since my brother was killed while fighting in Najaf, Iraq, and it seems like the words should come easily.

But they don't.

Instead, I have an unintelligible mix of thoughts and emotions floating around in my head and forming an occasional lump in my throat. It's a strange thing for me, the girl who has always been able to use words just how I wanted.
Sometimes, though, words just don't seem like enough.

If you want to read my thoughts put into words, you can read them here:
when my world started flipping
9 years... and still messy

This year, though, I want to leave you with something from my brother:

I Stand

I fail in this fight which embroils me;
I lack the strength to press on.
My spirit is crushed,
My mind full of doubts,
My body rebels,
Yet I stand.

Strength, welling not from within me,
Helps to resist this onslaught.
God lifts me up
From ashes and dust.
He is my Strength
So I stand.

Through the hail of fiery arrows,
Satan's temptations raining down,
God is my Armor,
God is my Shield,
God is my Foundation
And I Stand!

I can't win this battle alone,
But God doesn't require that.
He fights my battles;
He defeats my foes;
He asks just one thing,
That I stand!

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand!" ~Ephesians 6:13

~J. Michael Goins
2 LT, US Army
KIA 15 August 2004
Najaf, Iraq


  1. I always think of him when I read that Scripture. Such timeless words. Thinking about you today. I look at both of our writing journeys and how we encourage one another as comrades of sorts. I think Michael would be proud to see that in his sister and friend.

    1. I agree, Jill--and I'm thankful we're on this same crazy journey!

  2. this makes what most of us write about memorial day look pretty lame. you lost a brother! of course your feelings are still messy. it has only been 9 nine years! i can't even imagine the loss. when i used to see the young wives, mothers, families of the fallen men being handed the folded flags, that always seemed to tear out my heart and the tears would flow.

    for some reason, i don't see that on TV much anymore. not like i once did. but it doesn't matter in one sense whether i see it or not. it still happens and families still lose their beloved young men, husbands and fathers.

    bless you and your family and you honor your brother this memorial day...and as you continue in the pain of your loss all the other days of the year. as time goes by, the words get clearer, but may never get as clear on this topic as you would like. blessings on this day.

    1. Thank you for your words--and know that nothing written in remembrance and honor on this day can be considered lame!


Thoughts? I would love to hear them!

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